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So what's new in Cancun?

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Repeat visitors to Cancun – and there are lots of them (one out of every four visitors comes back for another stay) – will find some big changes among the destination’s hotels. For instance, THE Royal is now the Hyatt Zilara (Hyatt’s new adults only brand), and the Dreams Cancun is slated to become the Hyatt Ziva (catering to families) next year.

Meanwhile, Cancun’s 295-room Hyatt Regency, recently purchased by the Santa Fe Hotel Group, will be rebranded to the Krystal Grand Cancun. Also, the Emperio Family Suites recently became the new kid on the beach with 12 towers with a total of 399 rooms. (It’s located next to the Cancun Maya Museum on the resort's main drag, Kulkulcan Blvd.)

Guests at the Grand Mayan Resort just outside Cancun on the Riviera Maya will see an odd-looking roundish building under construction there. When finished later this year, it’ll be home to Cirque du Soleil’s first permanent show outside the U.S. Developed with Mexico’s Grupo Vidanta, the 70-minute “intimate theatrical experience” will be presented at a 600-seat dinner theater being built for Cirque du Soleil. The project is set to debut Nov. 21.

In other local news, the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a program called “Cancun Goes Turquoise” to support the efforts of local hotels, restaurants, tour operators and others striving to protect the environment. (Fittingly, turquoise is a mix of blue and green, representative of the region’s jungles and crystalline waters.)

At age 44 -- construction of the resort on the powdery sands of the Mexican Caribbean began in 1970 -- Cancun seems to be heading for a record year. More than 4.5 million guests bedded down in its hotels over the last eight months.

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